bad girls and crimson lads

Astrology can be a very rewarding study, as it deals in a psychological language that subjectively correlates with our inner and outer lives. It does this in a way which is not rationally explainable, but due to its potency it seems to dig down into Nature. For the receptive astrologer it can illuminate principles that structure experience, and elements of identity in a luminous manner. It is not a science, nor a rational study, but it is real in the same sense that poetry and artistic meaning are. Its archaic interaction with our lives is one of the reasons I consider it akin to magick and divination. Magick and astrology both inhabit an intermediate, ensouled world between matter, body and psyche.

Astrology uses the planets and other astronomical bodies, and associates these with principles which it links to the gods of mythology (most commonly, though not exclusively Roman). These might not be understood in the way that a hard polytheist would, but they nevertheless carry an influence which can follow mythological themes and structures, in poetic recombinations. This is why exploring your natal chart can almost seem like the discovery of your own, personal sacred themes, as if you were discovering an unwritten mythology, which yet resonates with larger themes, but without absorbing or replacing the individual life and its meaning.

I’ve had some interesting experiences with this kind of thing. One of the challenges in my own chart lies in a square (90° aspect) I have between The Moon and Venus (the latter being on the IC). The square is generally consider a “difficult” or challenging aspect, as the planetary energies have conflicting modes of expression, due to the signs they are in. So for instance one may express impulsively and spontaneously, and the other express cautiously and sensitively, but being linked, they have to learn how to get the combinations of their energies “right”. In the case of the Moon and Venus, these are both archetypally feminine energies, and very compatible simply as energies, but the square aspect creates an awkwardness, with my responsive and reflective, receptive Moon nature being independent and spontaneous, and my more romantic, sensual and relating nature being protective and nurturing. I’m very Moon-Venus by nature, but it takes work to understand my own awkwardnesses and sensitivities, insecurities etc.

The challenge is further elucidated by my Moon being conjunct both Eris and Black Moon Lilith*. It’s important for me to be able to reconcile both my Venus (which is also my chart ruler) and the complex of Moon, Black Moon and Eris, for me to be myself most deeply, and have a full life where I fulfil my nature and “purpose”.

Recognising the necessary relationship (for squares are powerful relationships, and as necessary as any other) between Black Moon Lilith/Moon and Venus has itself been very important for me in understanding myself. Darkstar Astrology says the following about the conjunction:

“Moon conjunct Lilith fuses two ‘moons’ together. So we get the mother and the anti-mother in one being. I think it becomes rather like the Black Madonna, it is extra potent and a Virgo archetype. This combination has to successfully merge the paradox of the virgin and the whore or the very worst manifestation of Lilith can surface. At its best this is sheer priestess and occult ability at the highest level. The conjunction can work as a hard or soft aspect, so when it is good it is very good, but when it is bad it is terrible”

Darkstar Astrology

Yup, I get that. In fact it’s been one of the themes of my life, first surviving (in my earlier life), and then understanding this, and its meaning for me.

The connection with this in perception came about after I had come to relate to a deity that isn’t found in astrology at present though, the Thelemic goddess Babalon. This itself was accompanied by events in my life, which led me to search inwardly. Our lives are driven from deep within us at crucial points. Babalon is based upon a reinterpretation of The Whore of Babylon, and she is both a Venusian goddess, and also a transformative spiritual agent with “demonic” (or daemonic) associations. The above mentioned merging of “the paradox of the virgin and whore” is apparent in her qualities, for she is both deeply sexual and powerfully spiritual, and evokes Virgo’s self-possession, but with Scorpio’s transformative and taboo inheritance thrown in.

I knew Babalon was important to the person I most deeply was, and knew I had to become. Now I can see it in my natal chart, and the patterns fall into place still more. Love, nurturance, sexuality, spiritual transformation and the most raw forces of life and desire are all called forth, to confront shadow, and truly love.

Virgo and Scorpio are placed either side of Libra, the Venusian sign most associated with relationship and balance. In terms of astrological rulerships of signs, we have the planets Venus and Mars, combined under the auspices of Mercury/Hermes.

Babalon is an archetype of the “Scarlet Woman” in Crowley’s system, but this same energy can and does manifest through males. I like to call the male counterpart “crimson lads”, but that’s just a little poetic license.

In astrology, if you follow intuition, feeling, instinct and creativity, you can come to listen to its language more personally. At the right time, this can help to illuminate our authentic experience and natures.


Star of Babalon

* I’ve written before on the subject of Black Moon Lilith, and this “imaginary Earth” is a fascinating astrological point that can resonate on many levels.

moving on

I think it might be time to ease off on the politics a bit for the blog, as it just gets too negative and draining in some ways. Not that it isn’t necessary sometimes, but analysing mass-spectacles does end up tiring, even if things like the shearing apart of the populace and the old media and political classes are interesting.

In fact a great deal of what has happened recently has some astrological backdrop. In part it is the drawn out end of the Uranus-Pluto square, but it has also been the Saturn-Neptune square which has just disengaged, which is an aspect of mass disillusion (and there has been a lot of disillusion). Political institutions are seen as corrupt, ineffective and unaccountable. The media is seen to be lying and peddling a kind of glamour that is out of touch with reality. We’ve had the migrant crisis, Islamist terrorism, a turning against the EU, and the weirdest US election I can remember. Waters (Neptune in Pisces) without a map (square Saturn in Sagittarius). People want authenticity (Uranus in Aries) rather than established power (square Pluto in Capricorn), and disentangling the effects of the original Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the mid 60s can surprise with exactly what is what. Threats and supposed discrediting of reputation, or calling on the moral clichés of 4 decades, aren’t working to control people’s choices, and that also makes astrological sense in fact.

The Saturn-Neptune square is essentially over now though, and the Saturn aspect that now takes over is a trine to Uranus. This is a progressive (in the real sense), workable, reconstructive aspect, and deals in answers that work, ideals that can be made concrete. It’s good news for a good deal of the rest of Saturn in Sagittarius, and for the end of the Uranus-Pluto square.

So maybe this is a good time to drop some of the politics (not promising mind you), and focus on the important stuff of our lives.

Ottoman surrender of Jerusalem By American Colony (Jerusalem) (Library of Congress[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ottoman surrender of Jerusalem By American Colony (Jerusalem) (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons – digitally altered

walking with the wolf

Mars retrograde

Wulf Rose

There is something pleasant about planets in retrograde motion. Who wouldn’t love it, or at least be curious, when Nature goes backwards. Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall (or through the mirror).

The one that is happening this Summer (now in fact) is Mars. A few other planets are also going retrograde over this period, but let’s focus on the red planet. Mars retrogrades happen about every 26 months (and last roughly 10 – 12 weeks).

I think Mars is somewhat underestimated, being both a personal planet, and the “malefic” that we haven’t done so much to redeem. I think that is because it is personal, yet it is also the first step outside of the Earth’s orbit, and has a key part in the transformation of personal energy (which is one of our species stumbling blocks). This energy is basically what we get all our…

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call off the dogs, smokey moon

In a little under a week we have a Full Moon, and a lunar eclipse. It will be a partial one, penumbral, so more shadowed than blood, and it follows the solar eclipse of two weeks prior. The solar eclipse was all about letting go, and the lunar eclipse should bring this to its culmination.

While the solar eclipse occurred in Pisces, the lunar eclipse has drifted into Aries-Libra territory, cardinal signs affected by the Uranus-Pluto square, even though the Sun and Moon are a long way off the positions of Uranus and Pluto, which are towards the end of the second decanate of their signs. But still, this cardinal connection gives us a clue as to the nature of this eclipse.

This eclipse group finds its mirror at the other end of the year, in about six months time in September 2016. The coming six months sees the beginning of the falling apart of the Uranus-Pluto square. It’s a long, on-off fall apart, lasting about three years before final disengagement, but this is the beginning of the long end of this generation defining aspect.

The solar eclipse has been a powerful opportunity to  release, let go, surrender all the aggro stuff to Pisces, and tend back towards the work in Virgo.  Very little “cardinal effect” from Uranus-Pluto thanks to that, as there has been very little cardinal involvement. This is brilliant, it’s a perfect let go. But it ends up culminating in cardinal Aries and Libra, with a lunar eclipse.

Lunar eclipses are a bit like brief, but very significantly placed periods of radio silence. Just the point when the Moon should be brightest, and the psychic gates most open, the universal information download the greatest, there is a pause. The hum stops. The radio is quiet.

Over the next six months, everything that has been hammered and tested and stretched and cracked and discarded, tempered and reforged in the last six years will start to become visible as what it is going to be. It won’t be through for another three years, but we’ll start to see what it’s like when the process isn’t there. We’ll start to see what we have left, and what we can work with way beyond this time.

Keep on releasing for now though. Enjoy all this mutable surrender of what you don’t need. It’s good stuff.


Damsgård hovedgård in Bergen by HMPinnsvinet (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons – digitally altered

here comes the Sun (eclipsed)

Was that a heavy Full Moon we just went through? I thought it was quite heavy. But what we are headed for right now is a New Moon, that is what it is rolling down towards, in fact a solar eclipse.

This eclipse is part of a Saros cycle that includes the solar eclipses of February 1998 and 1980. Here is the chart:

Pisces Solar eclipse simple

Now I have this feeling that everyone and their dog is going to go “ooh, Neptune Sun Moon Chiron and Mercury!” and talk about inspiration and healing and something or other, but I have just two words for that, and they are South Node. One degree off Chiron, which hooks in that whole little train of eclipse planets. Of course, the Nodes are connected with eclipses, by definition, and this is powerful, and the themes are all there, but they couldn’t be further from where the growth and work is, which is at the North Node. And there is Jupiter. Jupiter is your real friend here, Jupiter in Virgo, very good for healing work, very good for detail, going over it once, going over it twice, verifying the research.

You know who your other friend is here? Saturn. Testing both ends of the Node axis planets. Scepticism, subsisting meaning, never mind blissing out or wallowing in wounds, or getting buried in detail (though the detail wins if in doubt here), but the meaning that lasts, that makes sense in the individual case.

And your other friend is Pluto. In Capricorn. Easing this tension, translating between resource (South Node) and use (North Node). What lives. Because what stagnates doesn’t live, and what works does.

A little trick is that Uranus helps Saturn in its testing work here, with its progressive, reforming, more open minded influence, but Jupiter doesn’t get Uranus at this time, not in the ordinary sense (Virgo to Aries, china shop and football player). But as with any inconjunct, an individual can make it work, and the toning down influence of Saturn on Uranus makes it a little easier in fact.

What I really want to say here is focus on Jupiter in Virgo. That’s where the work is, the potential, the growth, and if there are any dreams, or healing to be had, it is Jupiter that will be actually doing the work to make it real here.

Eclipses bring in different cycles of time to what we are used to habitually: They take us through solar and lunar eclipse groupings that span roughly six months periods (though the groupings are very variable), eg we are having a solar then lunar eclipse in March, reflected by a lunar then  solar eclipse in September 2016. Then there are the 18 year Saros cycles. These ripples and waves in time are some way off the run of the mill fare of personality and psychology focussed astrology, and they can have very magical qualities.

Good luck, and happy surfing.

Make it what you want.

PS: 7th March 2016 – a big thing that does I think come with this eclipse is the chance to let go . The Pisces South Node, it’s made for letting go. If you held on, it would be stagnation. But you can let go. That way also you get the perfect combo for doing the Virgo North Node. Let go at the South, work at the North. On to the future, and to the new, where the real healing and growth is.


Hedge Woundwort, Moles Lane by Derek Harper [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Aquarius Sun 2016

a simplified approach:

Wulf Rose

Aquarius is a wonderful and paradoxical sign; dualistic, pure, surprising, original. So close to the predicament and potential of being human. The Sun enters Aquarius on 20th January 2016 (UT), and when we look at the planetary motions during this period we know that new seeds will be sown in Aquarius (8th February – New Moon), and there’ll be an opening, a drawing together of influences across the Aquarius-Leo axis at some point (24th January – Full Moon). Here is a quick look at the Aquarius month.

aquarius sun 1b

Immediately we see that a Mercury-Pluto conjunction is the flavour of the month, along with the Saturn-Neptune square (which you can find more about here). Mercury-Pluto is on the heavy, concentrated side, not exactly free and easy, but whatever gets through is deep and (in Capricorn) determined. If you’re tuned into Mercury-Pluto this can be fascinating, just the kind of information that…

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Sagittarius Sun 2015

The Sun goes into Sagittarius on 22nd November this year, so here is a view of the time.


Sagittarius is a wide ranging, far sighted sign, fire taken up by the big picture, the search for meaning and adventure, the horizon that beckons. Until the end of 2017 Saturn is in this sign though, which is an interesting combination; expansion within a constricted environment (like the internal force of a combustion engine), doubt taken to its limits, the testing of faith and benevolence, the light in the darkness, the space and freedom found in a limited world. The work of expanding vision.

The first half of Saturn’s passage through Sagittarius is further dominated by its square to Neptune in Pisces, which really deserves its own post. There’s a lot about the ubiquitous experience of suffering there though, and what that means to us, in our attempts to make sense of the world. I tend to think that Neptune in Pisces has a connection to mass disillusionment, and attempts to put right or alleviate suffering in quite basic, material ways – something of a reflex through Virgo there, but based on a Piscean sensibility.

The Sun, in going through Sagittarius, picks up on this, and will probably make it somewhat more conscious. In fact it is conjunct Saturn until around mid December.

The dominant pattern for most of the Sun sign month is a T square involving Mars, Uranus and Pluto (at its most intense in the week of 7th -14th December), which is a very pressured pattern that could blow off some serious steam, though it does occur with fair regularity* during the long lasting Uranus-Pluto square. The Uranus-Pluto square doesn’t require much introduction by now to folks who follow astrology, but it is a highly social aspect, testing social structures and values in ways that cut deep into our personal lives, but also have mass effects and collective visibility. It has accompanied the progression of the recession and its social effects, and the imposition (and questioning) of “austerity” for instance. This, in combination with the Saturn-Neptune square, makes for a lot of unanswered questions surging through the veins of quite a few societies. Mars clicking into place here may trigger something, or inflame some awareness or situation, but exactly what is difficult to say.  We don’t really understand how these synchronicities unfold. A Mars transit is a passing moment in the big picture, but Mars is a much underestimated stimulus to growth, destruction and transformation (it is the old ruler of Scorpio), so it is worth watching and studying. It might be one thing, it might be a rhythm beaten out over years.

As we noticed last month, the North Node has gone into Virgo, which is something of a sea change in where the growth and stagnation lies in the time. The growth potential is tending to lie with Virgo, in the areas of integration, service, assimilation, sorting and sifting, inward folding towards an authentic truth that we may live from. Jupiter is also here (until next September), and will be in technical conjunction with the Node after the middle of December or so. In any case, Jupiter is a good lodestone, ruling the Sun and Saturn by sign placement, while maintaining its trine to Pluto in Capricorn. Jupiter is the engine behind Sagittarius’ adventure and mission, and in practical Virgo he has a good head for steering a demanding Saturn in Sagittarius, while Pluto in Capricorn gives the resources to back up the work.

Chiron continues to provide a challenge from Pisces though, the area where the South Node is also positioned, the place of old work, habits, ingrained skills and behaviour that would lead to stagnation if we (or the world, because this isn’t a personal chart) just went back to it. Chiron opposition Jupiter is a wounded Jupiter, and Jupiter isn’t meant to be wounded. It’s like finding out too young that Santa doesn’t exist, that Daddy is only human, or that you’ll never be good enough to realize your dreams. In a way this is telling us to believe again, but through work, taking small steps that lead back to Jupiter’s dignity and warmth and understanding of possibility. Jupiter in Virgo says no to the Blue Meanies, because it knows what to do, and it knows that was then, and this is my turn with a bit more wisdom.

And that is necessary because Neptune, who can be wonderful, but can also be the biggest Blue Meany of all, is quite negative throughout this month, and you don’t want to have to go listening to that.

Now here’s the long version:

If you look at chart 1 you’ll see the beginning of the Sun sign month.

Right at the beginning, there’s that hard working Sun-Mercury-Saturn combination in Sagittarius, and there’s that (potentially) negative Neptune. Just as at the end of last month, Sagittarian map making and Saturnian caution help to fend off the confusion of negative Neptune. It won’t account for everything (it can’t), but it can keep things manageable. Help comes from Mars in Libra, giving some motive push, and a bit of space, air for the slow burning fire, though with a square to Pluto, Mars may add a compulsive sense of survival to that motivation. Jupiter keeps on chugging away with that trine to Pluto, as it does through the whole month again, but that Chiron hurts from over in Pisces. Just remember, the North Node is over in Virgo, not in Pisces with Chiron, so Jupiter gets the thumbs up for any work you put in on restoring your faith, so long as it is practical.

Also as with the end of last month, Venus is embroiled in a T square with Uranus and Pluto. That is probably priming some dissatisfaction at the collective level for when Mars triggers things later in the month. There’s a need for both space and intensity in this combination, so stepping back is quite a good option if in doubt. Venus is about to step away from the stage of Uranus-Pluto soon in any case.

Looking at the chart for week 2:

The aforementioned Mars-Uranus-Pluto T square has engaged, and will remain in place for the rest of the Sun sign month. This could be a flash point, and it certainly gives a greater motive push, quite possibly around issues of justice or “fairness” with Mars in Libra opposite Uranus, but note that the Sun-Saturn-Mercury conjunction has moved into trine with Uranus, so the work that Sun-Saturn does in Sagittarius is helped by Uranus and Mars; there’s a reforming quality to Uranus-Saturn trines, and conjunct the Sun, that can be quite consciously highlighted. This also helps Sun-Saturn in its job of making sense of the Saturn-Neptune square. It’s like we have two interrelated questioning processes going on, relating to collective suffering and the meaning we can make of the world it takes place in, and on the other hand issues thrown up by the present testing of social structures and values. Each can provide a piece of the puzzle for the other, but we have to work to make genuine sense out of things, as the forces involved will not brook platitudes and pat answers.

A word of warning re news though: Jupiter does square Mercury for a week or two here, so be careful of exaggerations or overstatements in the information being bandied about.

If we look at the cart for week 3 we see much the same, but Saturn has lost some of that progressive support from Uranus, and has let go of its stabilizing effect  on Mars, so things could be a bit more reactive or strident.

On the positive side, Venus has crossed over into Scorpio and trines Neptune in Pisces, and has disengaged from its opposition to Uranus. I think this is a bit more comfortable for Venus here, as Neptune provides lots of scope for imaginative fulfilment and artistry, and it’s kinda nice to get out of cardinal signs when that Uranus-Pluto square is swinging around. Overall, I think this is something of a pacifying influence.

Come week 4 the reforming Saturn-Uranus trine is back on and continues for the rest of the Sun sign month. Unusual and original inspiration is a very good thing here, but be careful of the details. The square between Sun and Jupiter gives optimism, but the details have to match the vision. Jupiter is now getting close enough to be technically conjunct the North Node, so that Virgoan work is good stuff here, and a better bet than getting carried away with big ideas, especially now that Saturn is no longer holding the Sun back with his caution.

There’s a lovely charmed little pattern formed by Mercury, Venus and Neptune though (probably resonating most strongly around 12th – 13th in fact), harmonious, imaginative, artistic and quite refined if we focus on it. Mercury has moved into Capricorn here, so the realism and seriousness of the mental vibe balances out the Neptunian influence but gets refined by it, while a conjunction with Pluto adds depth. It sounds like a recipe for finding efficient and effective ways of using resources, but in a way which appeals and can be easily sold.

Going on to the end of the Sun sign month and we find that the Pluto-Mercury conjunction has tightened. If there were a time for some news to break on social issues, I guess it would be about 20th December, but involving Pluto, maybe it would be kept hidden anyway. The harmony is really held by a pattern formed by Mercury-Pluto, Venus and Jupiter here. There’s good scope for answers to the crisis described by the Uranus-Pluto-Mars T square (involving good and intelligent use of resources), but they ultimately hinge on Saturn, which rules Mercury and Pluto (and thus ultimately Venus also) by sign placement here, and is ruled in turn by Jupiter (as Saturn is in Sagittarius).

So Saturn is going through its own thing in Sagittarius (involving a Neptune square), while Uranus-Pluto is getting triggered by Mars. Jupiter meanwhile brokers the alchemy, working his way through Virgo, trining Pluto and influencing Saturn by sign placement. Saturn and Uranus are also mediating the two patterns (Saturn-Neptune and Uranus-Pluto) via a trine.


22nd November Sun enters Sagittarius

23rd November Venus opposition Uranus

24th November Mars sextile Saturn

Mars quincunx Neptune

25th November Mercury conjunct Saturn

Mercury square Neptune

Mercury  sextile Mars

26th November Saturn square Neptune

29th November Sun square Neptune

30th November Sun conjunct Saturn

1st December Mercury trine Uranus

Mercury square Chiron

4th December Mercury square Jupiter

5th December Venus enters Scorpio

6th December Sun sextile Mars

Mars square Pluto

8th December Mercury square North Node

9th December Sun trine Uranus

Sun square Chiron

10th December Mercury enters Capricorn

11th December Mercury opposition Uranus

Venus trine Neptune

14th December Sun square Jupiter

Mercury sextile Neptune

17th December Venus sextile Pluto

18th December Sun square North Node

19th December Venus quincunx Uranus

Venus trine Chiron

Mercury conjunct Pluto

21st December Mercury square Uranus

Mercury sextile Chiron

Sun leaves Sagittarius.

An alchemist examining a liquid. Oil painting attributed to Charles-Emile Francois – Wellcome Trust [CC BY 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

* Mars takes approximately two years to go round the zodiac, while the Uranus-Pluto square has been in place for years, slowly moving through Aries and Capricorn. Mars can form a T square with them two ways, opposing Pluto or opposing Uranus. Thus it makes pairs of T squares with them fairly frequently (in Libra and Cancer), with longer gaps of over a year inbetween.